Metadesigning For Children

Twelfth meeting held with Dan Griner and John Wood on 11th March 2022
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Book Buddies

square-50cm-spacer.jpg Mutual Learning

  1. Book Buddies are small groups (or pairs) of co-readers who build mutual bonds (c.f. jeong) through mutually supportive learning processes of creative reading.
  2. Book Buddies can be defined as creative ensembles.
  3. As such, they might work as a creative duet or a creative quartet.
  4. As such their level of usefulness could be self-monitored using criteria based on the sympoiesis concept.

Complementary Books

  1. 'Complementary books' are 2 or more volumes that work synergistically together.
  2. They might, therefore consist of a first book, plus an appendix, supplement, or second version.
  3. They could be designed to bring individual readers into different levels of understanding
  4. The deliberate differentiation between readers would (also) be designed to encourage the exchange and creative combination of different types of knowledge.

A Children's Metadesign Series

  1. VISION: Practical design books for children that lead to books that enable the re-designing of design.
  2. In English, the word 'Design' comes from Latin words such as designare meaning “to mark out” as in plotting a new building's foundations.
  3. In Scandinavia, the word 'Formgiving' also means 'design'.
  4. In France it refers to 'drawing' (i.e. 'dessin').
  5. In Germany it implies 'wholeness' ('Gestaltung'), so these ideas could be exemplified to inspire and encourage the reader to be unconstrained by conventional methods and materials.
  6. The Hindi word 'Jugaad' refers to a low-cost form of inventiveness.

We All Design Things

  1. What these different words tell us is that design does not need to be elaborate or fancy. Everyone can design. Humans have been doing it for millions of years.
  2. Charles Eames saw design as "a plan for arranging elements in such a way as best to accomplish a particular purpose”.
  3. Herbert Simon saw even more simply as the ability to move from ‘given to preferred situations’. (Herbert Simon, 1969)
  4. If we see it like this, design is very similar to management in the sense that they are just different approaches to the realisation of an idea (Zymunt Bauman, 2006).
  5. Effective designs usually combine visual rhetoric, grace and illusion, so the Chinese word for design (設計) means, in essence, set up trick. EXAMPLE:
    • Book 'A' could tell a story (a 'trick' to be marvelled at) using familiar children's book protocols.
    • Book 'B' would tell a story about how Book 'A', thus deconstructing the 'trick'.
    • Book 'B' (or a third book - 'C') would offer very practical production details that encouraged immediate creative action.
  6. Together the series would encourage Book Buddies to create their own books in a playful way.

We Can Re-design How We Design

  1. See the Metadesign Manifesto for an attempt to explain metadesign simply.
  2. See a list of metadesign keywords and some of our interpretation of their possible meanings.